I’ve lived on this street for almost half my life. Our children were born and raised here. Their childhood toys used to dot the backyard. I heard the basketball bouncing late into the night as our son would shoot hoops with his dad. My parents lived with us during their later years. Together we tilled a large garden and canned much of our food. Now the garden is a small raised bed.
We live far enough from town to be considered almost in the countryside. The street is two lanes with a 25 mph speed limit. The only ones who usually speed are the teachers late for their arrival at the elementary school down the road! Bright yellow school buses brighten the day. Joggers have made this quiet street part of their chosen path.
We used to hear the squawking of pheasants and watch barn owls slowly swoop by. Red tailed hawks still fly overhead. We have heard the chatter and squeals of neighbor children. We can recognize whose dog is barking. The horses in the next field constantly whinnied for attention. The dear old farmer a few doors away used to drive his ’49 tractor every day in his field. I can still imagine the patter of the old engine.
There used to be three piano teachers on the block. Now, I am the only one. A sewing teacher taught the neighborhood children how to be creative. Two math teachers and a host of retired mill workers constantly worked on projects. A retired bailiff lived across the street and later his grandson opened a cabinet shop in the garage. The young men across the street are now older but still working hard in their logging jobs. I’ve seen the hunters’ bear and deer ready to butcher.
We have watched very few changes over the 34 years. Most neighbors were here when we moved in. But now the street is beginning to change, as it should for the new generations. Several older neighbors have died. Our long time postman will soon retire. Five new homes have been built. Homes are being restored. For sale signs have been posted. Old trees have been cut for firewood. New trees have been planted.
Seasons in life change.
But some things remain constant. Soon the Canadian geese will begin their southern migration over our home. I will be awakened by their honking and I will smile. I will hear the ships’ fog horns and know the mighty Columbia River is teeming with commerce. I will be still and listen for the other neighborhood sounds and know this is where I am now…happy to be on this street where we live.